This article is part of our 2020 Training Camp Preview series.
Expanding upon our team preview collection from earlier this offseason, we're gearing up for an irregular August with a series of team-specific articles to get you up to speed for training camp. You can find the previous writeup on the New York Jets here.
State of the Franchise
The Jets have known nothing but misery over the past decade, but there are finally some things to be optimistic about in East Rutherford. GM Joe Douglas' first draft prioritized improving the offense around Sam Darnold, as tackle Mekhi Becton became just the second offensive player the Jets have taken in the first round since 2009.
The other was obviously Darnold himself, and the 23-year-old quarterback has an opportunity to take a big step forward in his third season behind a revamped offensive line. Of course, these wouldn't be the Jets without at least a few reasons to point and laugh at them, and those with more negative outlooks need not look too far to justify their takes.
Star safety Jamal Adams was traded to Seattle, and the team's receiving corps is among the league's least impressive. Dealing Adams represents a major hit to a defense that relies on its safeties to bail out an underwhelming cornerback corps, though an infusion of young talent on both sides of the ball should help mitigate the impact of Adams' absence.
The 2019 Jets went 7-9 despite being the second-most injured team of the past decade, so perhaps New York's closer to contention than most realize in an AFC East that finally looks up for grabs again.
While Jamison Crowder has the slot role locked up, there's an open competition for snaps on the outside, and whichever receivers are able to nail down the two starting spots will have plenty of sleeper appeal in an offense that has nowhere to go but up following a disastrous 2019 campaign.
Perriman profiles as a direct replacement for Anderson, as both players do most of their damage on vertical routes while rarely venturing over the middle. That role is nothing to scoff at considering Anderson eclipsed 750 yards and five touchdowns in each of the past three seasons, but Mims could become a true No. 1 wide receiver for Darnold.
Mims topped 1,000 receiving yards twice in his last three years at Baylor while scoring at least eight touchdowns in each of those three campaigns, often using his 6-3, 207-pound frame to outmuscle defenders.
Should Mims or Perriman fall flat in camp, Vyncint Smith and Josh Doctson would be the likely beneficiaries. The 24-year-old Smith caught 17 passes last season, while Doctson was a first-rounder back in 2016.
Between a suspension, a hamstring injury and a rib injury, Chris Herndon was limited to just 18 snaps in 2019. Those issues are all in the rear-view mirror heading into the 2020 campaign, and the starting tight end spot is Herndon's to lose. He showed promising chemistry with QB Sam Darnold when both were rookies in 2018, so Herndon should see plenty of targets if he can stay on the field. Herndon's 502 receiving yards in 2018 were the most by a Jets tight end since 2011, and he's capable of even more if he can avoid injury issues.
One name notably absent from the job battle at the wide receiver position is Quincy Enunwa, who is battling a major neck injury but still hopes to continue his career. If Enunwa is able to get back on the field, it likely won't be in 2020, as he's expected to spend the entire season on IR alongside fellow wideout Josh Bellamy (shoulder). Enunwa missed the entire 2017 campaign due to a bulging disk in his neck and aggravated the injury in the Jets' 2019 season opener, less than a year after signing a four-year, $36 million contract extension.
LB C.J. Mosley
After missing just three games in five years with the Ravens, C.J. Mosley had his first season in green and white completely derailed by a groin injury. The standout linebacker got hurt Week 1, then aggravated the injury when he tried to make his return Week 7. Mosley underwent core surgery after the setback and was cleared for full contact back in June, so he should be ready to lead New York's defense once the games start. He averaged 115.8 tackles per season prior to 2019, so a healthy Mosley can be a force in IDP formats.